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Rising Civil Unrest in America

Before things get completely out of hand, it's time to examine what is happening in American society today. And before someone gets the idea that this is "liberal" versus "conservative" or Republican versus Democrat, it is essential that labels alone do not begin to describe the serious danger in which we find ourselves. If you aren't watching, this is a very troubling tendency. It goes beyond Joe Stack and his plane flying into a building housing the IRS in Austin Texas.

Clearly, we have entered a new era in American society. Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post makes the point that the Hutaree cannot be "Christian" because of their intent to murder .

The arrests of members of a Michigan-based "Christian" militia group should convince doubters that there is good reason to worry about right-wing, anti-government extremism -- and potential violence -- in the Age of Obama. I put the word Christian in quotes because anyone who plots to assassinate law enforcement officers, as a federal indictment alleges members of the Hutaree militia did, is no follower of Christ.

But the Hutaree aren't the full story. According to Professor Jeff Addicott, director of the Center for Terrorism Law at the St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio, this marks a significant change in the landscape of domestic terrorism. It has been nearly fifteen years since the attacks on the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.

"This is the first far right wing, anti-government terrorism case since the 1990s. That's at least 15 years," Addicott said.

One of the important questions is whether the Hutaree are a radical right wing militia, a conservative Christian movement or a group of "citizens" calling for change in America? Of course when Brittany Bryant , who is engaged to David Stone Jr., son of the Hutaree's leader , one of the Hutarees arrested in Michigan says, "that if group members had had plans for violence, they would have done it already" it places a cloud of the ominous onto the situation. After all, the Hutaree are accused of threatening use IEDs to kill local law enforcement officers. Like the lady said, they were harmless:

Going after a group like the Hutaree can be dangerous, ABC News consultant and former FBI agent Brad Garrett said. "This crowd tends to be heavily armed and they are all conspiracy theorists that the government is trying to take over," he said. "And so you have to be very careful and cautious when starting arresting people like this because you can walk right into an ambush."

Of course, then you need to consider the Guardian of the Free Republics, a group that compares themselves somehow to Gandhi and mailed ominous letters to governors. They actually sent letters to over 30 governors that in essence told them to "Straighten up and fly right" and without specifically threatening them, the letters clearly concern the F.B.I. who believe that the letters could prompt violence.

The FBI is warning police across the country that an anti-government group's call to remove governors from office could provoke violence. The group called the Guardians of the Free Republics wants to "restore America" by peacefully dismantling parts of the government, according to its Web site. It sent letters to governors demanding they leave office or be removed.

It is pretty hard to misconstrue the intent of "leave office or be removed."

And finally, we are faced with the threats made against Congressman Eric Cantor by Norman LeBoon who has already been declared incompetent to stand trial.

Threats against Congressmen, White supremacists, "constitutionalists," tax protesters and religious soldiers determined to kill people to uphold "Christian" values. We have a problem. Indeed, this is as Eugene Robinson wrote, "The Age of Obama." But it is more than that because some of this has been building for some time. There is high unemployment, while others find themselves following the rules and paying their bills, yet watch as people who are defaulting on their mortgages and facing foreclosure are being bailed out. We are even about two weeks away from the airing of a news special by MSNBC's "The McVeigh Tapes: Confessions of an American Terrorist." In this social environment, while it might be constructive to "understand today's extremists," this could also incite some others to try to replicate what he and Terry Nichols did in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995..

The proliferation of Internet sites that spew hate and unsubstantiated opinion to feed the biases of the masses of people who seek answers or reinforcement for their own slanted ideas has as much to do with this as who is the President of the U.S. Fearfully, we may be facing a long hot summer of discontent in this country.

NOTE: This writing of this article was delayed a few days by the intrusion of the "day job."